Tag Archives: Literary adaptation

278. The Rules of the Game

Reviled and banned upon its release, then seemingly destroyed and lost forever, Jean Renoir’s The Rules of the Game stands today as a victory for liberalism.

276. Le Mépris

When it comes to making movies about making movies, many directors choose to venerate the medium. Not Jean-Luc Godard. He treats it with contempt.

263. Cyrano de Bergerac

Why did Edmond Rostand base his play on a real-life historical figure, only to turn his writing talent into a tragedy?

262. The Handmaid’s Tale

There is only one time to tell Margaret Atwood’s novel, The Handmaid’s Tale. Right now. Which means always.

247. The Killers (1946)

Ernest Hemingway hated what Hollywood did with his novels. The only film of his work he liked was this classic adaptation of his celebrated short story.

240. The Maltese Falcon

John Huston’s film of Dashiell Hammett’s classic novel was the third adaptation. How did he succeed where others had failed?

239. Three Colors

Is Krzysztof Kieslowski’s trilogy only about liberty, equality and fraternity? Look again and you’ll find it also addresses fate, coincidence and co-existence.

238. Great Shots – Part Three

What makes for a great shot? Beauty? The lens? Lighting? Combine them and you have more than just an image.

234. Great Shots – Part One

What makes for a great shot? Beauty? The lens? Lighting? Combine them and you have more than just an image.

232. The Age of Innocence

Best known for his crime dramas, Martin Scorsese’s adaptation of Edith Wharton’s romantic novel is one of his most incisive works.

231. Rashomon

Akira Kurosawa’s Rashomon is celebrated for asking what is truth. Which is more than a little ironic, because that’s not what it is really about.

229. The Conformist

Few films are as layered as The Conformist. But whether you see it as an exercise in style, character study, or philosophical thesis, it’s a flat out masterpiece.

228. The Magnificent Ambersons

Orson Welles is celebrated for Citizen Kane but it was this adaptation of Booth Tarkington’s novel that defined his career.

224. Citizen Kane

Orson Welles’ debut feature is now a quarter of a century old. Have we been taking its greatness for granted or is it time for reappraisal?

223. Pan’s Labyrinth

Guillermo del Toro says he is “in love with monsters.” In Pan’s Labyrinth, set in the Spanish Civil War, he uses them to navigate history and the world.

214. Revolutionary Road

Like the novel, Revolutionary Road so probed its subject audiences stayed away. Their loss. It is Sam Mendes’ best film.

211. Dangerous Liaisons

Chodleros De Laclos’ novel has inspired plays, operas and ballets. But none match the debauched panache of Stephen Frears’ film.

200. Apocalypse Now

Francis Ford Coppola’s radical adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s novella is one of the most astonishing achievements in the entire history of cinema.

192. Wuthering Heights

Emily Brontë’s novel has been filmed over 25 times. Is there a line between radical interpretation and reckless desecration?

182. Gaslight

Made in 1944, Gaslight is an Oscar-winning melodrama concerning madness and murder. The film itself is guilty of attempted homicide.

174. The Unbearable Lightness of Being

How well did Philip Kaufman succeed in adapting Milan Kundera’s ‘unfilmable’ philosophical love story?

161. Dr. Strangelove

Until 1964, Stanley Kubrick had suffered years of set-backs, disappointments and frustration. But he made his reputation with this satire on nuclear war.

158. The Big Sleep

How can Howard Hawks’ adaptation of Raymond Chandler’s labyrinthine detective novel be heralded as a classic when it is impossible to follow?

151. Drive

Nicolas Winding Refn’s film focuses on Ryan Gosling’s nameless getaway driver. But its best scene involves a vehicle of an entirely different kind.

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